Brooklyn Nets vs. Los Angeles Lakers Pick & Prediction MARCH 31st 2024

While the Los Angeles Lakers admitted their energy was lacking on Friday, the Brooklyn Nets had no such issues during one of the NBA’s top 3-point shooting displays of the season.

The Lakers hope their intensity is improved and they can stop the Brooklyn Nets from dominating behind the arc Sunday night when the teams get together in New York.

Los Angeles (41-33) sits ninth in the Western Conference with a 1 1/2 game lead on the 10th-place Golden State Warriors.

The Lakers are also 1 1/2 games behind the eighth-place Sacramento Kings, two behind the seventh-place Phoenix Suns. Los Angeles missed a chance to gain ground on both due to a lackluster showing in its 109-90 loss to the Indiana Pacers on the third game of their a six-game road trip.

After averaging 130.2 points in a five-game winning streak, the Lakers saw that season-best run stopped by the Pacers. Los Angeles was held under 100 points for the fourth time and finished with its fewest points all season after scoring 150 points against Indiana at home last weekend.

The Lakers were doomed by an offense that shot 40.7 percent, fourth lowest all season. Los Angeles also shot 16.7 percent (5 of 30) from 3-point range, marking its second-worst percentage from behind the arc this season.

“We didn’t have the energy we’ve had the last few weeks,” Los Angeles star LeBron James said. “You’ve got to be able to play through it. We know it’s three in four nights, but there’s no excuse for unforced turnovers. They can’t happen.” James, who was questionable for Friday’s game with a left ankle injury as he has been for weeks now, was held to 16 points. It was the 13th time he was held under 20 this season. James also finished with five of the Lakers’ 16 turnovers. Anthony Davis, who is playing through a hyperextended left knee, led the Lakers with 24 points and 15 rebounds and has five straight double-doubles. The Nets (29-45) are seeking a season-high fourth straight win after dropping six straight. Brooklyn shot 26.4 percent (19 of 72) from 3-point range in wins at Toronto and Washington before erupting for 25 3s in Friday’s 125-108 home win over the Chicago Bulls.

The Nets matched their record for 3s in a home game, while their 18 3-pointers in the second half alone tied an NBA record for any half. Cam Thomas led the Nets with 28 points, Dennis Schroder added 27 and Mikal Bridges finished with 25. The trio combined to sink 19 of 31 from behind the arc and 14 of 18 in the second half. Brooklyn’s 3-point prowess allowed it to win for only the third time in 21 games this season when allowing at least 50 percent shooting. The Nets held the Bulls to 23 points in the fourth after giving up 21 to the Wizards in the fourth.

“Well, I don’t know if 25 3s is sustainable, but I’m (going) to pray, I’m going to church before the game on Sunday and I’ll pray about that,” Nets coach Kevin Ollie said. “But I don’t know if that’s sustainable, but the process is sustainable and getting those shots is sustainable.”

The Nets are seeking a season sweep of the Lakers. Thomas scored 33 points and Brooklyn made 19 shots from 3-point range in its 130-112 win at Los Angeles on Jan. 19.

–Field Level Media

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